Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search


Please help our efforts with a donation. This site requires ongoing funding and your donations are crucial to our future.
Last 10 Donors: Neil Eddiford, Chad Arnow, Jean Thibodeau, Robert Morgan, Adam Rose, Jerry Otahal, Michael P. Smith, Mikko Kuusirati, Eric Bergeron, Daniel Staberg (View All Donors)

Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > A French 'Medieval' Castle Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: A French 'Medieval' Castle         Reply with quote

This is a link to an article in the London Times last weekend, the text also below as it's quite short.

Now these people are really serious about their historical reconstruction ! Made the sword ? Painted the helmet blue and white (nice colours Patrick !) ? Now build the castle !

(There were pictures in the paper I bought on Sunday but not unfortunately on the on-line free-site).

Apologies, Nathan, in advance if I posted this in the wrong place.

http://search.thetimes.co.uk/cgi-bin/ezk2srch?-aSTART#


May 14, 2005

The Times

A castle for keeps


IN A hidden corner of western Burgundy, off the vineyard track, a medieval castle is beginning to take shape. The fortification at Guédelon is no plastic and metal Disneyesque fantasy; it is being built by 35 meticulously trained craftsmen and women using 13th- century techniques.

Masons chip away at sandstone blocks from the quarry that used to occupy the site, carpenters chisel and plane oak from the surrounding forest to make stairs and beams, ropemakers work on a complicated system of pulleys to braid hemp fibres.

The only concession to modern technology is the use of a crane to move sandstone blocks weighing several tons into position for the stonemasons to start work on them.

When the project started in 1998, historians decided to use the skills available in 1229 and to advance year by year at the same pace as the 20th and 21st centuries. So step into the castle grounds today and you will find yourself in the year 1236 — with plenty to see, even though the castle will not be complete until 1254 (or 2023).

The bridge over the moat, which was made entirely of oak, has been in place for years; it is possible to climb to the top of some of the castle walls and to watch the towers rise slowly.

Shaping the curved stones is painstaking work and a mason’s average production rate is just three stones a day. They are raised into place using a wooden squirrel cage — a wheel powered by men.

Inside the castle and in the trees beyond the moat, the support industries of the 13th century are in action: mixing mortar from lime and sand, forging nails, cutting wood, making baskets and dyeing. Sheep, pigs and goats graze in the grounds, together with the horses that are an essential source of power.

The impact is extraordinary because, unlike many heritage projects where people in costume bake bread and carve souvenirs to amuse the tourists, the workers here are creating a real structure while living in a time warp.

Most of them are grateful for a job because unemployment in this corner of France is high. Tackling this problem was just one of the aims of Michel Guyot when he first embarked on the idea.

He took over the château in the nearest town, Saint-Fargeau, in 1980 and, as he cut through the alterations of centuries in restoring it, decided that it would be creative and educational to remind the world of what a medieval castle really looked like.

Plans were drawn by Jacques Moulin, chief architect of the French Heritage Institution, along the lines used in the realm of Louis IX and a scientific committee was formed to give advice on the techniques of the age. Grants and donations helped to launch the project but today it is self-supporting, thanks to the growing number of tourists paying €8 to visit the site.

Most are children on school trips but an increasing number from countries outside France are finding their way across Burgundy from Auxerre — or off the A77 autoroute — to explore this unique site in an unspoilt corner of France.



Nice little article I thought.

Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,686

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very neat stuff Daniel, thanks for sharing.

Really belongs here in the Off-Topic forum though. Wink

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message
Russ Ellis
Industry Professional




Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Posts: 2,607

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that! If I ever find myself in France I'm going to go look that up.
TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
Joined: 04 May 2004
Reading list: 41 books

Posts: 423

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool! Big Grin An interesting project indeed.

I've always wanted my own castle. I'm thinking this may be a way to go:
http://www.castlemagic.com/color.html
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a shame the online site didn't have the photos the printed newspaper had. Looked quite impressive... people trudging around with wooden buckets of mortar and carrying oak beams, and not a machine in sight. I'll see if I can dig up some photos on it, he must have posted some somewhere else.

On the newspaper photos they had partially done the moat and the front and left tower bases and lower sections of the perimeter wall and the drawbridge. Only about 20 years to go !! I think it's a good historical project, and a good tourist site (I'll visit later this year when I'm in France around that area), a good school-trip location with all the different crafts, and a good opportunity for craftsmen and women around the area to gain experience (not often they get to put on their resume - I built a castle !). And a very brave idea by the owner.

Daniel

PS Sorry Patrick, I just knew I'd get the wrong post location. Tried to put it in off-topic but it seemed to default to the other area.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 19 May, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Further link to what he's doing.

http://www.guedelon.com/uk/presentation/origine.php

Daniel
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > A French 'Medieval' Castle
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum